Friday, June 1

Guest Blogger Ashley Lipmann explains the Soil Solarization method of preparing your beds

Maybe you have never put in a garden before. Perhaps you just bought property that has space you need, and you are ready to grow your own fruit, vegetables, and flowers. But, the land is not prepared for this venture. It is overgrown with weeds, and you are not sure how to begin.

There are several ways you can go about preparing the plot for a garden. In this situation, we are going to explain the soil solarization method. There are easier ways. You can cut the weeds down and till the soil and remove the weeds and roots you can see. You can add herbicides and kill a good amount of the problem which we don't recommend. But, if this is virgin soil, the weeds have very deep rooted seeds. That method works great with solid that is used annually. Using mulch and rotating the crops makes for a productive garden most times.

This is not one of those times. You have unused soil, and weeds have made it their home. There are common diseases that are probably in the soil. Prepare the soil right the first time, and you will have little to worry about in the future. 

Prepare the garden site:
Once you have selected your garden spot, the work begins. Use a sickle or a power trimmer to cut down the weeds and wild plants that have claimed the lot. You are looking for a site that gets good direct sunlight and rai. Weeds like the same thing, so you can expect the weeds to be tall and thick. Cut them as low as you can.

Your soil must be smooth as you will be covering it with plastic during the solarization. So, after you cut the weeds down as low as you can, use a power tiller to begin to turn the ground. Note: weeds have deep and thick roots. A standard garden tiller will not pull them up. Use a power tiller, even if it means you have to rent one.

Carefully remove any weed roots that you pull up. Use a steel rake to comb through the ground. Moisten the soil. Once your land is prepared, stretch a sheet of clear plastic over it, securing the corners with bricks or blocks. Stretch it until it is tight and let it stay covered tightly for about two months to kill deep weeds you may have missed. After a couple of months of the and baking in the sun under the plastic, weeds and pathogens will be killed. This is a good time to decide what you are going to plant and to order your seed needs. Now remove the plastic and replace it with landscape fabric.

Once your landscape fabric is secured, slice a hole in the material and place your seedling in the hole. Avoid getting excess soil on top of the landscape fabric as it will attract airborne pathogens. Continue placing your plants allowing for enough room for each to grow properly. Your seed specialist will tell you how far apart they need to be. Your final step will be to apply organic mulch on top of the landscape fabric. This will allow your garden to grow properly.  Note: as the organic mulch breaks down, it may encourage weeds to grow. However, these weeds are easily pulled up.

When the mulch is decomposed, clean it away and replace it with fresh mulch. This procedure has prepared your lot for gardening. WIth minimal care and tilling, cleaning, and rotating your plants (do not plant the same plant more than once every 3-years), your garden will thrive and give you years of pleasure.As you grow with your skills, your gardens will not include this much work. However, like anything else, if you lay a solid foundation, you are bound to be a success.

About Ashley Lipman

Ashley is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

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